Important changes for customers who own or dial telephone numbers starting 084*, 087*, 118*** or 080*

In order to simplify call costs for consumers, the telecoms regulator Ofcom is changing the way numbers starting 08, 09 and 118 are charged for. The changes will take effect from 1st July 2015 and are as follows:

084*, 087*, 09**, 118*** numbers

The cost of calling these numbers for consumers is changing significantly and is likely to be more expensive. In the case of Freephone numbers, these will become free to call from the mobile networks

084* and 087* numbers are Service Numbers and are typically used to call businesses. Numbers beginning 09 are Premium Rate Numbers and those beginning with 118 are Directory Enquiry numbers. The call charges will be split into two parts:

  1. The Access Charge: This is what consumers will be charged per minute for the call connection from their telephone provider. Access Charges charged between comparable service providers vary wildly. InternetVoipPhone’s Access Charge is 3p per minute, while Virgin media’s is in excess of 30p per minute at the time of writing
  2. The Service Charge: This is the remainder of the call charge. The telephone company who originally applied to Ofcom for the telephone number range allocation sets the Service Charge. These charges will not vary and must be charged at the defined rates

All InternetVoipPhone’s rates can be found here:

Ofcom have stated that all businesses publishing an 084*, 087*, 118*** ,09* number must now include the Service Charge rate on all documentation to include stationery and websites. For example: “Calls cost 15p per minute plus your phone company’s Access Charge.” The price stated must be inclusive of VAT.

Ofcom have run this campaign and are publishing end user documentation at the following website:

Understanding that many businesses have used their phone numbers for a long time, it may not have been the intent for phone numbers to be expensive to call

Any organisation using an 084* or 087* number is eligible to be allocated an alternative number starting 03. For example HSBC BANK’s customer access number 0845-7404404 has been supplemented with 0345-7404404.

We believe the changes Ofcom are making will have a negative impact on customers using telephone numbers starting 084* or 087*

We recommend that you seek alternative numbers to call when presented with 084* or 087* numbers.  There is a very good chance that the owner may have addressed this issue and published an alternative number for you to call

If you are the owner of an 084* or 087* number we strongly recommend that you seek to replace this number with an alternative number in order to save you callers from unnecessary cost


0800 and 0808 Freephone numbers

Freephone numbers starting 0800 or 0808 will be free for customers to call as normal. Ofcom from the 1st July has stated that calling these numbers from mobile phones must also be free of charge